The rise of childhood diabetes, heart disease and obesity in our backyards are all good reasons to stay away from refined and processed sugars. You may have noticed a lot of talk lately concerning the Glycemic Index of foods and how it affects our health. So what is this GI scale and why should we be concerned about it? Well, the unfortunate truth is that the cheap sweeteners used in so many packaged foods are wreaking havoc on our health through the rapid spike and plummeting of our blood sugar. The long and short of it is that when you eat foods with a high glycemic index rating, your blood sugar spikes, you release excess insulin and your body stores that sugar as fat. Our bodies are meant to function best when our blood sugar is balanced throughout the day by eating whole foods and natural sweeteners. This is great news for maple syrup users! Maple syrup is considered a low-GI food with a rating of 54. Refined table sugar has a GI of 95 and honey has a GI of 77. What's even better is that Maple syrup is an excellent source of the trace mineral manganese; 1 tablespoon contains approximately half of the daily required intake for this nutrient.
Here is a simple tip to help you rid your cupboards of refined sweeteners!!!!
- Repalce each cup of granulated sugar in the recipe with1 1/2 cups of maple syrup
- Reduce other liquids in the recipe by about one-half
- Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda for each cup of maple syrup used
- Decrease oven temperature by 25 degrees to avoid over-browning
If you would like to know more about the Glycemic Index scale and how it affects your health the American Journal of Clincial Nutrition talks in great depth about chronic Western Disease and the relation to refined processed sweeteners. The article can be found by following this link: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/76/1/266S.full